Keyspan Bestows Parks with an Arbor Day Gift
Friday, April 27, 2007
On behalf of Parks & Recreation, Commissioner Adrian Benepe accepted a $100,000 check from KeySpan today to plant trees in Long Island City, Queensbridge and Ravenswood, Queens. In celebration of Arbor Day, Commissioner Benepe, KeySpan Chairman and CEO Robert B. Catell, elected officials, and community leaders ceremoniously planted a London planetree in Queensbridge Park. KeySpan also distributed potted plants to attendees.
"Just last weekend, Mayor Bloomberg discussed his vision of a better…and greener New York City by 2030," said Commissioner Benepe. "It is companies like KeySpan who will help to make this vision a reality. We are grateful to them for making this corner of Queens greener, healthier and happier. As the results of the Street Tree Census show, trees really do pay off."
"Today's tree planting presentation is one of the first of several projects under our Ravenswood Community/Environmental Fund that will benefit the Queens community," said KeySpan Chairman and CEO Robert B. Catell. "It goes hand in hand with Mayor Bloomberg's plan for a greener, greater New York which calls for planting one million trees over the next decade. Today's presentation is KeySpan's pledge to support that effort right here in Queens."
Queens may be home to more than 40 percent of the city’s 592,130 street trees, but the latest Street Tree Census shows that the neighborhoods of Long Island City, Queensbridge and Ravenswood still have room for approximately 2,000 more trees. KeySpan’s generous donation will enable Parks to plant approximately 100 trees as we embark on filling these neighborhoods—and the rest of New York—with trees. This takes us one step closer toward reaching Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative to add one million trees to the city by 2030.
The United States Forest Service has analyzed the Street Tree Census data and converted the well-known benefits of trees into dollars—the total annual benefit of the existing street trees in New York City is $122 million, or $209 per tree per year on average. Street trees remove 2,202 tons of air pollution per year, saving the City $11 million. The average tree removes 2 pounds of air pollutants, valued at $9 per tree. The amount of electricity and natural gas consumption is $28 million per year, a savings of $3.41 for New York City resident per year. Trees also intercept rain and reduce storm water runoff by 890.6 million gallons, an estimated value of $35.6 million and provide aesthetic benefits of $53 million.
Founded by J. Sterling Morton, Arbor Day was first celebrated in Nebraska on April 10, 1874 and now celebrates planting and caring for trees in countries around the world.
A member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, KeySpan Corporation (NYSE:KSE) is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast United States, operating regulated gas utilities in New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, serving 2.6 million customers. These customer-focused businesses are complemented by a portfolio of service companies, which offer energy-related products, services, and solutions to homes and businesses. KeySpan is also the largest electric generator in New York State. The Company owns approximately 6,650 megawatts of generating capacity, providing power to 1.1 million customers of the Long Island Power Authority on Long Island and supplying approximately 25 percent of New York City’s capacity needs. In addition to these assets, KeySpan has strategic investments in pipeline transportation, distribution and storage. KeySpan has headquarters in Brooklyn, New England, and Long Island. For more information, visit KeySpan’s web site at www.keyspanenergy.com.
About the KeySpan Ravenswood Community/Environmental Fund
The Ravenswood Community/Environmental Fund supports community, environmental and renewable energy projects in the areas surrounding the Ravenswood Generating Station. The fund provides about two million dollars for various projects including the installation of photovoltaic panels and or fuel cells in local facilities, beautification of buildings, parks and tree plantings.
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CONTACT: Warner Johnston / Abigail Lootens (Parks & Recreation) (212) 360-1311; Karen Young (KeySpan) (718) 403-2503
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